Thursday, June 16, 2011

Why I'm Not Concerned About Plateauing on Bench Press

As you can tell from my last workout summary, I didn't get all 5 reps on my last set at 155 lbs. It was disappointing to me, because I'm trying to blast my way up to 225 lbs.  It was also the first time that I failed to get the full 5x5 on any lift, so I figured it deserved a post. It's important to know that I'm not frustrated or discouraged from failing on this set for several reasons.

My Bench is Still the Same as My Squat
I did 155 lbs for both bench and squat last workout. Of course, I should be able to squat a much higher weight than I bench, because the muscles that perform squat are much larger than the muscles that perform bench. So I knew that bench would fail before squat. I can't let myself get discouraged until my squat and bench are back in proportion.

I Know I Can Get It Next Time
It's only one more rep. I mean come on... If my muscles don't recover enough to do one more rep then they are just completely worthless. When this happens to you, you need to remember that your muscles will overcompensate for the weight, and you will be strong enough to do it next time. If you don't get it next time, you either didn't have enough recovery time, weren't eating enough, or couldn't lift it for some mental problem

I've Seen Others Fail Then Succeed
I'm looking at a graph right now of a guy who failed on a set of bench and then powered through to increase his weight for several workouts before he failed again. The point is, failing on a set does not mean that it is a ceiling. There's no invisible wall that is stopping your muscles from growing to the point where they overcome that weight. I'll say it again: as long as you're eating right and recovering for long enough, your muscles will overcompensate. It doesn't matter if it's a 100 lbs or 300 lbs.

5 Pounds Is A Lot To Ask of Your Chest
Let's face it, 5 pounds is a big increase for your chest muscles. Sure, it might be a piece of cake on squat. But your chest is just smaller. It's going to overcompensate just like your legs, but it won't overcompensate as much. So there's no reason to get discouraged. You should expect your bench to go a workout without increasing every now and then. It doesn't mean you didn't get any stronger. It just means you didn't get 5 pounds stronger.

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